• Midland's new mural under the M-20 bridge. Photo: Kevin LaDuke.

Conservative Midland Just Got a Little Gayer With This Very Gay Rainbow Mural

By |2021-09-13T13:59:46-04:00September 9th, 2021|Michigan, News|

Conservative Midland just got a little more colorful, thanks to an exciting new mural created by area native Joey Salamon and his friend Cam DeCaussin from Arizona. 

“We’ve had nothing but compliments [about the mural],” says Kevin LaDuke, communication director for Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF). “People were really excited about it.”

The sprawling piece of art is located downtown on the Pere Marquette Rail Trail underneath the M-20 bridge. It’s a spot where the entire community can view it, says LaDuke. 

Salamon and DeCaussin responded to a request for proposals from the MACF and their initiative Public Arts Midland last fall. The result is a vibrant tribute to the city and its history. 

Photo: Kevin LaDuke.

“The idea is it’s kind of like a mash-up of very specific Midland-related things and then also more subtle Midland things,” Salamon told Pride Source. “Midland is known for a lot of good mid-century modern architecture. We used pattern work found in some of the more iconic buildings around town and just played with those in the background. It’s supposed to be a collage of Midland-y things.”

Like most of Salamon’s work, the mural features rainbows galore. As a gay man, this is a conscious decision and a part of Salamon’s signature.

“Some of them are specifically for that, especially in pieces that I’ve made that are permanent pieces for Pride,” he said. “But other times, it’s like a mix. I like using the rainbow. But at the same time, I always love using the most colors possible. It’s a recognizable symbol. When people see it, it brings happiness, and I like that. It’s a mix of the two.”

The mural, which made its debut in July, was completed in just two weeks.

Photo: Kevin LaDuke.

“It was exhausting,” said Salamon. “We should have taken more days off because we definitely hurt afterward. But we did it in two weeks.”

So far, Salamon said, the mural has received nothing but praise.

“It’s been great,” he says. “It was really fun because the rail trail allows people riding their bikes to see it. People stop quite often to look at it. All the comments have been nice and positive. It’s good to hear that from the people who live in the city.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.